Saturday, 25 June 2016

Justine Greening brings much needed good news

The last few days have been just terrible, with the UK voting itself on a path to economic failure and irrelevance on the world stage. MP Justine Greening however has given us some good news.

In a tweet yesterday Greening declared she was gay in a humorous tweet based on her 'Stronger in Europe' campaigning..

That's not the good news, people are in relationships, some of them happen to be gay. Big deal.

No. The reason it was good news was the reaction, as the BBC reports.
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Congratulations Justine - that's great news."
Chancellor George Osborne was also among those to respond to the news, tweeting: "Congrats Justine. Best news in last 48 hours!"
And many other politicians added their congratulations, as reported in the Independent.

For me the best news in the last 48 hours was the reaction to this declaration. 64 years ago Alan Turing one of the great British scientists, a brilliant man who greatly contributed to the war effort against the Nazis, was convicted of indecency. His crime? He was gay. Subjected to hormonal treatment to reduce his libido, publicly shamed, he committed suicide two years later.

Now, a lifetime on from the disgusting and criminal treatment of Alan Turing, a gay politician in the UK can declare their nature and be accepted by their peers. As a libertarian and atheist, reeling from all of the bad news of the last few days, I can heartily second George Osborne, congratulate Justine and thank her for some positive news amidst the black news of recent days.

Sea ice commentary will resume in early July.


Kevin O'Neill said...

Yes, progress does seem to go on - just not always in a straight line. It's the meanderings and missteps along the way that drive us to drink.

I'm interested why, as a libertarian, you were in favor of remaining? Most of what I've read on Brexit has the typical libertarian in favor of Brexit. Tim Worstall and the crew from 'Economists for Brexit' are all libertarians or neo-liberals with decidedly libertarian leanings.

Neven said...

Kevin, I think there's a distinction between real libertarians (Noam Chomsky is one, for instance) and free market libertarians, a label that belongs to Orwellian nomenclature.

Chris Reynolds said...

Kevin, Neven,

We (UK) have a government that wants to put the whole UK under surveillance via GCHQ. The EU states reacted badly when that was revealed. So which is the more libertarian situation, an Orwellian UK, or the EU? BTW Neven I don't get your Orwell allusion.

I'm a free market libertarian, but there are qualifications. A true free market would be a nightmare, with the weak being downtrodden. Max Keiser has it roughly right - we don't have real free markets as long as massive corporations are able to bend the market to their own needs. Democratic power should be higher than the markets, which should operate under a framework of law passed by democratic government. That is why TTIP was so amazing - no _real_ democrat could stomach a market entity being able to sue a democratic government because of laws that government passes.

I'm also a globalist, I want some farmer in Africa with a mobile phone to be able to trade his/her surplus on the internet in a transparent way without middle men rigging the market against him and lining their pockets. I want that to enable the distribution of wealth and opportunity. If that makes me a bit poorer because food prices go up, that's OK if the trade is fair and my producer gets a decent share.

My ideal is real anarchism, where people take personal responsibility and get together to get jobs done. Not a top-down 'tree' network, more a peer to peer net. But human nature means that this just isn't practical. But the nature of ideals is to guide, not to reach them.

The EU isn't perfect, far from it. But tying together people from a similar cultural outlook (i.e. Inglehart Welzel) such that decisions are then made in a truly democratic manner at the appropriate level seems logical to me, from town council, to region, to national/EU wide. Most of the problems with the EU come from it consisting of separate states. A United Europe as a single state, with multi-tiered democracy seems to me to be the least worst option for our continent.

BTW In my opinion nationalism is the first refuge of the weak of character.